Although telemedicine, also known as telehealth, services were once considered a passing trend, the demand is now growing exponentially.
Demand for telemedicine services is expected to increase 775% by 2018, in large part due to the increasingly busy lives of patients. As the baby boomer generation ages, the inability to physically travel to the doctor may contribute to the increase in demand as well.
With over half of the nation’s hospitals already conducting their own telemedicine programs, it’s likely that medical practices will soon begin to implement telemedicine services also. Before you do though, here are 5 tips to ensure you maximize telemedicine billing in your practice.
You need to decide which telehealth services your practice will offer as well as how they will be utilized in the office.
Questions to consider include:
- Will you use live video feeds?
- How about asynchronous options, like store-and-forward?
- Will telemedicine be used for specific patients, perhaps for discharge follow-up care? Or will you extend those services to a larger group of patients within the practice?
As you probably expected, Medicare has very specific regulations when it comes to reimbursing providers for telemedicine services.
For example, Medicare requires the GT modifier, which indicates the visit was completed virtually. However, it must be linked with the appropriate CPT code. You can see the current list of acceptable telemedicine codes here.
Not all states require private payers to reimburse telemedicine services. So far, only 29 states, plus the District of Columbia, have enacted laws regarding this segment of modernized healthcare.
Several other states have proposed legislation though, so it’s likely more states will be joining the ranks going forward.